Focusing light within turbid media with virtual aperture culling of the eigenmodes of a resonator

Tom, William James
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Virtual aperture culling of the eigenmodes of a resonator (VACER) is a technique to focus light within turbid media at arbitrary locations. A seed pulse of light is directed through a phase-conjugate mirror (PCM) into a turbid medium. Though much of the light may be lost, any light which reaches the second PCM is phase conjugated and thus returned to the first PCM where the light will be phase conjugated again. Amplification by the PCMs can prevent decay of the light cycling between the PCMs. Introducing a mechanism which filters light based on position enables attenuation of the modes not traveling through the center of the virtual aperture resulting in a focusing of light at the center of the virtual aperture. The seed pulse and the positioning of the PCMs on opposite sides of the virtual aperture ensure that modes cannot bypass the virtual aperture. Magnetic fields and ultrasound waves are potential means for implementation of a virtual aperture. Generally, only weak filtration mechanisms like magnetic fields and ultrasound waves are innocuous to turbid media. Fortunately, weak effects can strongly cull modes in VACER because the filtration mechanism affects the modes during each pass between PCMs and the modes compete. A combination of theory and computational modeling prove that sound physical principles underlie VACER. Moreover, computational modeling reveals how mode overlap, the seed pulse, and other variables impact VACER performance. Good experimental performance is predicted.